Between 1910 and 1918, Mr. Jade owned a mansion and a tree nursery with a partner named Smitz. He and his wife also had a young son named Chet. At the time, Jade was a heavy drinker and late one night he and a Smitz got into an argument about their future. Smitz wanted to sell the nursery while Jade wanted to keep it. It’s unclear if Smitz was also drinking, but he did attack Jade with a knife. Jade, who carried a firearm shot Smitz twice, killing him. Overwhelmed by what he had done, Father Jade and his son split a tree, hid Smitz’s body inside (along with a bottle of whisky) and tied it back together so the tree grew closed.
Jade gave up drinking, sold the nursery, and went into a guilt driven seclusion and after the death of his wife in the 40’s he hid himself permanently away in the mansion’s attic. He suffered from bad ulcers and began eating baby food, delivered to him by his son through a secret passage that led to the attic. The original attic entrance was closed up.
When the tree containing Smitz following a storm, Sam Catchem and Lizz investigated the case, making no progress for almost two months. During this time, Dick Tracy had quit the force, but he returned after he was intrigued by the odd evidence. Tracy soon began to question Chet Jade (who was now a cartoonist) about his father and his former partner Smitz who had disappeared. Chet claimed his father was dead but Tracy was suspicious of the closed off attic and empty containers of baby food. He and Sam tried to climb to the attic to investigate but unseen, Father Jade knocked their grapples loose.
Dick gave up for a time, but returned after he was given several flying air cars by the Governor of the Moon as a gift. He and Sam flew the air cars up to the attic, where a severely emancipated Jade tries to fire a shotgun with half century old ammunition at them. The gun would not fire, nor would a small handgun he tried to kill himself with. Tracy easily overpowered the old man, and he finally confessed to his crimes and then died naturally.